Monday, June 27, 2011

Pledgapalooza!

(Posted by Jocelyn)

So, The Abortion Pledge was simultaneously a success and a failure. On the one hand, the pledge itself has about 300 signatures and comments like these:

Before this pledge existed, I still lived by its principles.

I love my daughter and chose to have her after planning my pregnancy. I will fight for her right to choose for herself the destiny of her own body.

I have had an abortion. It was the right choice for me. If I hadn’t had an abortion, I would’ve been a 13-year-old with a baby.

The right to abortion is a human right. Abortion on demand should be available to every single person who ever has lived or ever will live with a uterus.

I’m 27, pregnant, and eagerly awaiting the birth of my first child! This baby is a wanted baby—the only kind a woman should ever have.

If I needed an abortion, I would have one. Because I was a teenager when abortion was a crime, and what that did to women was another crime. Including, my sister’s friend forced to carry her dead baby to term, which so poisoned her system she was never able to have another child. Abortion restrictions kill women, and the children they would have when they are able.

I feel I have made this pledge to myself in the past, and I have followed through on it. I have never once regretted having an abortion; my life and the life of my future family is better for it.

On the other hand, however, Dan Savage re-posted it on Slog, where it got a reaction more like this:

You’re kidding, right? Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion.

This does nothing other than play to the prejudices of the pro-life lobby.

The list sucks. I am strongly pro-choice but strongly anti-abortion; it’s traumatic (to varying degrees) to the woman concerned, and should really be an emergency option for when things go wrong.

Wow. Just wow. I think I am as prochoice [sic] as they come. I even provide abortions for fuck’s sake but that pledge is messed up.

Note how many people are offended by the pledge, think it’s a bad idea, and or do not perceive it as satire. Since all those people are allies, that makes this a bad pledge.

This pledge seems like one of those imaginary conservative ideas of what liberals are.

This is dumb, and I strongly suspect (or hope) that Jocelyn is a teenager.

Offensive to the core.

Fuck you, you vapid judgemental [sic] fucking cunt.

Wow Jocelyn - way to not get the point of CHOICE. Booo. Bad liberal! Bad!

Bitter, militant, college educated, middle class white womyn in their ‘I had an abortion!’ t-shirts want women to feel having an abortion is no more a moral dilemma than flossing some meat out of their teeth. They are militant, unpleasant, angry misanthropes. Bitter bourgeois bitches. Fuck u Jocelyn. Pro-choice parent.

Jocelyn: you made some mistakes. Now make the responsible choice that causes the least damage. Abort this awful, I’ll-conceived pledge before it gets too far along. I know it’s hard, but you know it’s right.

I've thought a lot about it, read every single comment, and talked about it with Dan, and this is the conclusion I've come to: I like my original pledge. I'm not going to apologize for it because I think it's good. I think it sends a strong message, and I think it started a really interesting conversation. The original, however, is about abortion. What the majority of people seem to want is something that's about being pro-choice. We can do that.

I've read all the comments about the pledge on this site, on the pledge itself, and on Slog. As such, I think we should consider this the "crowd-sourced version." If you hated the old one, expressed your disdain, and like the new one, then consider yourself a co-writer. Here we go:

(changes in bold)
I pledge the following to the members of the Susan B. Anthony list and the citizens of the United States of America:

1. If I become pregnant and decide that ending the pregnancy is the best course of action, I will have an abortion.

2. I respect the right to obtain a safe and legal abortion, even in situations where I would not abort.

3. If I become pregnant and opt not to have an abortion, I will remember that my choice would have been meaningless without the right to choose, and will continue to defend that right.

4. I will support universal access to affordable contraception and accurate sex education, with the full knowledge that it is easier and safer to prevent an unwanted pregnancy than to end one.

5. If I am able, I will donate to Planned Parenthood and/or other organizations that defend my right to choose.

5. I refuse to let a single issue, no matter how important to me, define the way I vote.
Before it goes live, I want your input. Comment away.

UPDATE:

The new pledge is live. Click here!

54 comments:

  1. This reworking is wishy-washy, apologetic bullshit: "even in situations where I would not abort" is pandering to the "abortion is yucky" crowd.

    I don't care if an individual would or wouldn't have an abortion - it's none of my fucking business. All I care is whether or not you're pro-choice - if you can't understand the difference, you might as well go hang out with the anti-choice women who have had an abortion, you can talk about how special your individual circumstances are!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shouldn't we be pandering to them a little bit? I mean, if they think abortion is yucky, but they also think it shouldn't be illegal, aren't we on the same side?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good revisions. To help stress the 'choice' part of this pledge, I would suggest re-ordering these as #2, #3, #1, #4, #5. Additionally, I would replace "feel like" in #1 with "decide."

    ReplyDelete
  4. the first pledge was pretty sick. A lot of people were hoping it was a parody.

    You seem to be missing the point behind the abortion controversy, Jocelyn. That's odd, too, seeing as how you're a woman.

    It's about CHOICE. Forcing someone to have an abortion is just as abominable as forcing someone to carry a child to term. Asking someone to pledge to abort is pretty sick stuff. You can't coerce that sort of responsibility on someone. You can't hold a woman up to that standard. It's wrong of you to advocate FOR abortion. Advocate for choice. That's what this is about. The right for a woman to decide what goes on inside her own body.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Cammille - We're not discussing that pledge anymore. Y'all got your point across. I'm done defending it. It's fine.

    The new one is about choice. Do you take issue with it?

    yagagagagoogoo (or whatever) - I think the order it's in packs a punch, which we want it to do even if we're making it more inclusive. The word change is a great suggestion, though.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like this pledge. The old one was interesting but I felt a little uncomfortable signing it. I still think w can improve it though.

    Being Pro-choice is about defending a woman's right to have an abortion regardless of whether the situation squicks us out or not. I support that for sure. However, a big part of it is also reducing the need for abortions to begin with and that is the part that I don't think was addressed by either pledge. Many abortions wouldn't be necessary if we had proper comprehensive sex education, access to affordable birth control for everyone, and other such initiatives. A lot of people who are pro-choice are also pro-sex education.

    The Pro-life movement is often about keeping people ignorant as well as hurting women. Perhaps the pledge could reflect the education side of things?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ania - I agree that being pro-choice means promoting birth control and other options as well as advocating for the legality of abortion. This pledge, however, is a direct response to an anti-abortion pledge propagated by an anti-abortion group. I think we need to keep our message relatively simple in an effort to effectively counteract the original pledge. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jocelyn - I can see where you are coming from, however, it might also be a good way to point out the hypocrisy of the pro-life movement. They say they want to save lives and fetuses but when given an option that would do both, they flat out refuse it.

    You have a point about keeping it simple. People are more likely to read it if it is simple and straight-forward. On the other hand, highlighting the hypocrisy of opposing side may win over waverers.

    So I suppose one has to decide what does the most good. It is a tough call. Either way, great job on bringing this issue to people's attention!

    (I recently had a long facebook debate where I was the only pro-choicer. I pointed out that proper sex education made for less unwanted children and so less abortions whereas criminalizing abortions didn't actually reduce rates but rather increased fatalities and they didn't care. I ended up writing a double blog post rant about the whole issue xD)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ania - Yeah it's a tough decision. Can you come up with a concise way to say what you're trying to say? If so, I might be able to work it in.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I could sign this. And Jocelyn I know what you are receiving is a lot of vitriol from the members of slog. They call you an extremist and sick- a radical, militant feminist. But their reaction and viscousness concerning this and resolute defiance of agreeing to anything you write regardless of how much you take their views into account is, in my opinion, far worse. Because it's infantile and serves no actual purpose.

    I would sign this in a heartbeat. Keep up trying to evolve and advocate ;)

    PS- I agree with an above poster who says that you should add a bullet point saying how you will pledge to do all you can to defend a woman's right to cheap/free/accessible contraception in order to help prevent the whole bother of abortion to begin with as much as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jocelyn - Perhaps "I will help reduce the overall rate of abortion by supporting programs like comprehensive sex education and affordable birth control."

    or

    "I will help save lives by supporting comprehensive sex education and programs that offer affordable birth control for everyone"

    hmmm I am not sure. I don't want it to end up sounding like abortion is a bad thing, or dangerous. You may be right about leaving it out. I tip my hat to the master, or should I say mistress :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ugh sorry for the tons of typos. Typing from an iPhone.

    Viscousness= viciousness

    Resolute defiance to= defiant stance against

    ReplyDelete
  13. Aedan - Brilliant!

    I will defend all peoples right to have access to true and accurate information about sex, STIs, contraceptives, and pregnancy, and support programs that give all people access to affordable and accessible birth control, including the Plan B pill.

    Jocelyn - A lot of the commentators on slog are trolls. There are a few who are actually decent people, but every time I read the comments there is always some douchenozzle trying to be a pain.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Aedan - Thanks for being my muse just then.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for this Jocelyn. I think the reworked version is pretty good. I will sign it when it is posted.

    I could totally get on board with the addition of "I will defend [the right of all people] to have access to true and accurate information about sex, STIs, contraceptives, and pregnancy. [Further, I will] support programs [such as those offered by Planned Parenthood], that give all people access to affordable and accessible birth control, including the Plan B pill." Someone else had suggested it in the Slog before and I thought it was a good idea then. I would suggest changing the wording a little bit as above to make it a little clearer, and also to include a reference to the other mandate of Planned Parenthood, since so many people seem to like to forget about it when they are pulling its funding (Not that I don't think it should be funded by both governments and individuals for performing abortions, it should.)

    I also think that #5 should go. Maybe it's because I'm Canadian and live in a major city, so I have this luxury, but I would never ever vote for an anti-choice candidate. I just don't think I could bring myself to do it. I think I'd rather spoil my ballot. I hardly consider myself a single issue voter, because luckily all my other political views tend to line up with people who are pro-choice, but choice is sort of one of my litmus tests. If you're on the wrong side of that, what else are you on the wrong side of? Anyway, I think that unless there is really some crying need in American political culture to leave that in, it should go. But I'd be interested to know the thought process in putting it in.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I appreciate what you tried to do with your first pledge, but I could not support it. I can sign on to this one more easily. I am going to have to think about number 5. If a candidate stood for everything I believe in, but vows to overturn Griswald and make any form of contraception illegal, then, yes, I become a one issue voter. If a candidate supports women's rights and advocates torture as a legitimate means of gaining information. I become a one issue voter. So, number 5 is somewhat problematic for me. Other than that, I am on board.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That's a huge improvement. I especially like 3, which was in the first one and 5, which wasn't.

    Writing a new pledge also establishes that the first one was meant seriously and not as satire.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm on board with the contraceptive thing, but we seriously need to find a way to say what you're trying to say without A) demonizing abortion and B) being too long-winded. You're getting there. How's this:

    I understand that the best way to reduce the need for abortions is to give everyone access to birth control and accurate sex education, and will work to support those things.

    Needs work, but at least it's shorter.

    I hate the idea of single-issue voting, if only because the Republicans are so good at using it to their advantage. It's also a direct response to the organization that created the original "Pro-Life" pledge. That said, perhaps I couldn't vote for an anti-choice candidate either, even if he/she was perfect on everything else I believe in.

    I'd like to say something about voting, but don't really want to tell people how to vote. What do you think?

    Also, @darkfrog24, I'm pretty sure me saying that the first one wasn't satire established that it wasn't satire.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The new one is wishy-washy and bland. I loved the old one. (I signed and retweeted it.)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jocelyn, I think the problem is that pledges like this are fucking stupid, and no amount of rewording can change that. The GOP's anti-abortion pledge was fucking stupid and any response to it will be too. Distilling our message is simple--TOO simple for a stupid fucking pledge--"every woman has an absolute right to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy." Nothing more needs to be said. Stupid fucking pledges just make all of us look like the same kind of douchetastic fucktards that pollute the Republican Party. Pledges exist solely to mark who's in and who's out in any club, and that's not what needs to happen here: being pro-choice should be inclusive, not just another way to demonstrate how much we hate the other side. Everyone should feel welcome in our camp, and stupid fucking pledges give the opposite message.

    Now, I know my comment is somewhat strident, but I do appreciate what you're trying to accomplish. I just don't think this is a good way of doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. How's this?
    "I will support universal access to affordable contraception and accurate sex education, with the full knowledge that it is easier and safer to prevent an unwanted pregnancy than to end one, or to carry it to term."

    ReplyDelete
  22. Alison - I can't please everybody. Going for the greatest common denominator here.

    Opus - Of course it's stupid, but it's also poignant. If you can come up with a more effective way of counteracting the Republican rhetoric, I'd love to see you do it. As of right now, however, they're winning the abortion fight in tiny increments. This is the best way I can think of to make the pro-choice voice heard in a loud and concrete way.

    ReplyDelete
  23. That way we're not appearing to demonize abortion at the expense of carrying the pregnancy - it only makes the point that both things are more difficult logistically than preventing the pregnancy in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Friend - I like it, but without the carrying it to term part. I know that it's a viable option, but it sounds like it's just tacked on to the sentence.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Works for me. I'm fully willing to lose it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jocelyn, my problem with a pledge is that it alienates anyone who isn't already firmly pro-choice (and, apparently, some people that are). Preaching to the choir does nothing. The best way to counteract the anti-abortion pledge is to ignore it and continue to educate the public about reproductive health, advocate for PP funding (and educate people about what PP actually does), and generally try to put out the pro-choice message in ways that don't leave people with the impression that we're a bunch of baby-murdering psychos. Reproductive rights have been diminished in some states, but any impression that we try to convince people to have abortions only hurts the cause, and that's what the original pledge does-- and the neutered version really is so wishy-washy and bland that people will forget it as soon as they finish reading it. It's not you, it's that a pledge is a pretty silly medium for non-official purposes, and for this case serves no purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Opus - Of course it's not me. Contrary to what some might thing, this isn't about me. It's about change.

    Look, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. Of course this version isn't as punchy as the original, but I wouldn't go right to "wishy-washy." It still portrays abortion as an ideal option; it just doesn't come with a prescribed set of situations in which we think it's appropriate.

    I also think that you're wrong about ignoring the blowhards. They're noisy and what they say is in poor taste, but people listen to them. If we can create the same kind of volume, perhaps people will listen to us too.

    Again, I can't please everyone. If you're not into the idea, you're not into it. It seems like a lot of people are, though, even if they didn't like the original product. So I'm just gonna take my chances and go with it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The first one was pretty fine after the first three items, which were only viewed as fucked up because they represent black-and-white thinking. #8 comes too late on the list - it should be at the very top and read "If I am in any of the situations listed below" instead of retroactively qualifying what would otherwise be really alarming statements.

    There are women who choose to get pregnant at ages 18 or 19, and why would I ever encourage someone in that situation to get an abortion? Just because I want to wait to start a family doesn't mean everyone should wait.

    Adoption is completely ignored. I'm as pro-choice as they come, but I don't think adoption should be written out of the issue, as if the only choices available are to raise a child or to abort.

    I get why you (and many others) like the idea of a pro-choice/abortion pledge, but sometimes things aren't simple enough to boil down to a list of "dos" and "don'ts." Over-simplifying the issue of abortion is one of the biggest problems with the gross Republican abortion pledge. Don't fall prey to the same dumbness out of a desire for something tidy and unifying.

    In other words, what Opus97 said.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anyone who says "I am pro-choice but anti-abortion" is no ally to women's rights.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I thought the original pledge was fine, and had no trouble signing it. I would have had an abortion for all the reasons listed. But the new pledge is fine, too.

    I am the 27-year-old pregnant lady who signed. And yes, it's my first pregnancy, so no, I haven't had an abortion. Because I used CONDOMS.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Juliet - Your comments are about the old pledge. I'm looking for feedback on the new one.

    Azalea - I'm not sure that's true. If we can get more people who are anti-abortion to fight for its legality, that means we're winning. We can't win the personal moral war, but we can win the political one.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Michelle - Loved your comment on the pledge! I thought it was fine too, but I think we need more people to think it's fine. No use alienating people who would otherwise agree with us.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Here's an idea, how about "I Stand With Planned Parenthood"?

    Oh, right, we've all already done that.

    ReplyDelete
  34. 1) I pledge to exercise my power of choice.

    2) I pledge to never ask another person to justify her choice to me.

    Why do we need anything more than that?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Because it's not going to get the point across..?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Dear God, how I hate blogger's signin stuff. Half the options just don't work and in the process I lose what I wrote.

    Anyway, I was one of the ones that rather vociferously ojected to the original pledge, and I'd like to point out that I view any form of restriction on abortion as evidence that women are still slaves in this country. So don't try to characterize all of us who objected to the original pledge as wishy washy meh whatevehs. Plenty of us brook no restrictions on abortion and yet disliked the pledge for many reasons.

    I won't rehash my particular objections -- you can find them over at the Slog post in the unlikely event you should wish to look at them. I just came over here to register my appreciation that you actually listened. Since you really didn't come across that way in the comments when you tried defending it and really put your foot in it more than once.

    I'd sign this, though I think it's still not quite what you're looking for. I think it can be stronger without being offensive. And remember, just as there is a long history of denying abortion or means of limiting children to white, wealthier women, there's an equally long history of enforced sterilization and other punitive measures meant to curb reprouction in poor, disabled, or non-white women.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow. Did you read your comment before you posted it? Or was it supposed to be that rude? It's almost not worth responding to the tiny portion of your comment that actually relates to what we're talking about, but I will anyway:

    If you think it can be stronger without being offensive, please specifically suggest how. K thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love how you totally backpedalled and completely 100% changed the pledge's direction...all while maintaining that you were right all along. The fact that you're still defending that wrongheaded anti-choice pledge basically invalidates this new one. Your 'I'm right, but I guess you losers aren't as cool and radical as I am, so I'll water it down until you all agree with me' attitude straight up annoys me enough that i still won't sign this pledge. I don't like anything you have to say. Your comments are rude, pushy, snotty, and needlessly inflammatory. Like your first pledge that you're still defending. I really hope this goes nowhere.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Just feeding back that I've noticed a number of commenters are here to pick you up for not listening to them, but seem to be themselves not exactly open or receptive to other points of view: dismissing your revised, 'crowdsourced' pledge out of hand despite the fact that it's much changed from the original, is a direct response to comments, and that it's been revised several times here in response to further comments.

    No constructive criticism to offer on the new pledge itself. I agree that 2 is very important. A powerful defence of access to legal abortions has to be broad-based, and for many people that will mean supporting another woman's legal right to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy in circumstances where you yourself might not.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I just have issues with the use of the word "woman". Talking about abortion and choice is not just about women. There are men who can get pregnant too (trans men, in this case, who may or may not have uterus), and it would be better if the language of the pledge reflected that.
    After all, for a considerably high number of trans men, getting pregnant is a real fear. Knowing that we can look up things about abortion that do not shout at our faces that it is a "woman" thing helps a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I think this second pledge is much better than the first.

    1. Perhaps re-word it to say that you recognize the choice to terminate a pregnancy is often an extraordinarily difficult decision, and the the final say belongs to the person who is pregnant?

    2. I think it is good to say "even in situations when I would not" because people chose abortion for a variety of reasons and we can't hold one kind person as morally superior to others. I've heard dozens of stories about pro-lifers who get abortions and want the abortion providers to know they are not like those "other women" who have abortions, they were doing it for a superior reason, like saving their reputation.

    3. YES. 1,000 times.

    4. ALSO YES

    5. Preach!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Suggested revisions:

    1. If I become pregnant, I will exercise my right to make the final decision on whether to continue my pregnancy.
    [This addresses some readers' discomfort with pledging the words "I will have an abortion" when they're not actually in the position of having to decide right now, and it may make the pledge palatable for women who are pro-choice but would never have an abortion themselves for any reason.]

    2. I respect every woman's right to a safe and legal abortion, even in situations where I would not abort.

    3. I will not ask any woman to justify her own decision to abort or not abort.
    [I like this because I really believe in it, and because it's a roundabout/polite way of saying "and no one is entitled to demand a justification from me on my own decisions."]

    And I think that #3 would lead nicely into your existing #3, which could become #4.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Sets of commandments never correspond helpfully to real life situations. It's not a mathematical equation, it's life - no set of absolute rules govern it.

    It’s why these ‘pledges’ tend to come from stupid fucking groups (anti-sex, anti-choice, anti-LGBT) – because they are, on principal, a fucking stupid idea that only work with people who see everything in black and white. We don’t need a ‘pledge’ – it doesn’t add anything, it doesn’t articulate any points that weren’t already sufficiently articulated elsewhere.

    You’re applying a black-and-white kind of logic to people who are, broadly, too smart to see things in black and white. It doesn’t serve any advantage to us internally and it may alienate the people we’ve got to convince. This doesn’t help – stop it.

    ReplyDelete
  44. James - That's a good point, but I wonder if changing the language from "every woman" to "everyone" will confuse things in an effort to appease a small percent of the population. Let's shop it out: what does everyone else think?

    Jess - I don't think it should say that the decision is difficult. We hear that enough. It's really not difficult for some people, and it's not really our place to say that it should be. I'm sorry, but I'm definitely not going to add that. Thanks for the praise for the rest of it, though.

    Jolie - I think we have addressed some readers' apprehensions to the degree that I'm comfortable with. I don't think the pledge as it stands is "wishy-washy" and "bland," but I think yours is. It has to be at least a little bit incendiary to have an impact. All the pledge says is that you'll have an abortion if you decide it's best. The decision is still yours. I get what you're saying, but I think your pledge is not as impactful.

    Jon - we've made this as grey as possible without making it boring. It's not a set of absolute rules at all. The only firm rule in there is "be pro-choice."

    We are employing the tactics of the right in order to attempt to advance the goals of the left. It might actually accomplish something, even if it's just making some Republicans look dumb. Whatever it does, however, it really can't hurt. It's going to be fine.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I guess I can see why you'd find my suggestions bland, but I intended them to be the opposite. I think the most daring position one can take towards abortion is to say that the ultimate decision is ALWAYS the pregnant woman's - including cases where the woman decides not to abort despite what I think would be really good reasons to do so (she's a minor, her health is in danger, she's homeless, she's financially unable to support a child, etc). Even if I think there are a lot of circumstances where abortion is the right and responsible thing to do, it's not my place to put that judgment on another woman. A lot of pro-choice people I know find this idea discomfiting - that a truly pro-choice society means women being free to make serious mistakes. That's why I think your existing #3 is the most important ("my choice would have been meaningless without the right to choose and [I] will continue to defend that right").

    My problem with this pledge is that as it stands, it's preaching to the pro-choice choir: people who aren't generally squicked out by abortion and wouldn't hesitate to have one themselves. Of course these people support choice. If your goal is to win over new supporters for choice, it's important to remind people who oppose abortion that the freedom to choose goes both ways. And it's important to remind the "choir" that choice is about all women, not just women who want abortions. I would like all women to feel that the pro-choice movement, as represented by this pledge, is on their side regardless of how they feel about abortion.

    So my question for you is, why do you think being incendiary is the most effective way to approach the problem? Aren't people fired up enough about abortion already? I guess if your goal is to energize the existing pro-choicers, you're on the right track, but I sort of thought the goal was to win over those who don't yet call themselves pro-choice.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Oh - I also wanted to say that I like James's suggestion to open up the language for the benefit of trans men's concerns. Plus, there are plenty of female-identified people who wouldn't dream of calling themselves women (for example, teenage girls). Maybe "every person" instead of "every woman"? As long as we're careful with syntax, the pledge doesn't have to become confusing.

    ReplyDelete
  47. (And score one more for blogger brokenness: yesterday Open ID not okay but LJ okay; today it's the reverse!)

    Are you for real? Given your comments to those on Slog, there is nothing rude at all in my comment here. Particularly since your readers ARE characterizing those of us objecting as wishy washy on abortion. Wow. In any case, my last comment / contribution & I'm out of here:

    I recognize that coercing women into having children or preventing them from reproducing at a time of their own choosing and planning is denying them their own bodily autonomy and as such, reducing them to no more than slaves.

    If you really want to include transmen and such, I would reword things to say US or ME and not use women or everyone, etc. in the first place. Make it personal. "I recognize that WE have the right to choose abortion for OURSELVES at any time."

    Just so long as you don't accidentally pander to the rabid "we men want to choose abortion for our partners and not be forced into fatherhood" crowd either.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Jolie - It's a good idea, but the particular wording doesn't send as strong of a message. It's not that being offensive will win us anything; it's just that if the pledge say (or seems to say) too little, it won't achieve its goal. If you can say what you're trying to in a way that will get people's attention, I'm all ears.

    BEG - Great idea with the personal pronouns. Changing that now.

    ReplyDelete
  49. This revision is a much better effort.

    Nevertheless, this discussion is still alienating to this pro-choice, far left, 3rd wave feminist because I don't think you are helping the cause.

    In your zeal to destigmatize abortion, you do come off sounding Pro-Abortion [you, "portray abortion as an ideal option"] and I think that this is damaging and politically foolish.

    Preventing unwanted pregnancies is the first and best option. No stigma there, just the facts of cost and health risk. We need to fight those who are against reproductive rights with the triple threat: real sex-education, affordable contraception, and abortion rights.

    This approach better highlights the hypocracy of those who are against abortion _and_ against the means of preventing unwanted pregnancies. It is a complete and humane platform, and does not leave one open to the charicatures of the Right that your first pledge did.

    Any pledge should be about reproductive rights and responsibilities [that includes the men], not just abortion.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Ophian - I'm doing my best to include all that without deviating too far from the message. Remember that the original pro-life pledge was specifically anti-abortion. So, while I agree that being pro-choice means promoting a multi-faceted approach to reproductive health, we also have a specific target with this pledge and need to address that specifically in order to get our message across.

    What do you think I could do to this pledge to make it something you would support?

    ReplyDelete
  51. I never posted any comments on the old one (I'm a lurker), but agreed with some of the criticisms. I would sign this one in a heartbeat.

    ReplyDelete
  52. So should we go live then? No use editing this to death.

    ReplyDelete